On Friday, I presented a program on “Paid FMLA: Does It Leave You Confused?” at my firm’s semi-annual Labor & Employment Law Seminar, along with my Shipman & Goodwin colleague Chris Neary.

Suffice to say that while the pun was well received, we had a number of attendees who left the seminar understanding that the breadth and scope of the state’s new Paid FMLA law may be far greater than they previously understood.

Even now, the new Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Authority — a new quasi-public state agency — is still getting up and running.  One of my former colleagues, Henry Zaccardi, recently retired from Shipman & Goodwin and will be serving on the board.

Of course, there’s still plenty of time to adjust to Paid FMLA. Payroll withholdings won’t start until 2021 and the employer requirements to offer such leave don’t start until 2022.

But that still leaves employers with lots of questions to ask.

Among them:

  • Should we consider outsourcing our FMLA decisions to a third-party provider, like The Hartford? 
  • Should we even consider over-staffing to deal with the likely increase in employees seeking leave?
  • What policy and procedure changes should we be considering now?
  • How will we train our staff to understand the implications of the new law?
  • Who is going to be tasked with keeping up with the regulations and guidance that is likely to be coming from the new PFML agency?

This only scratches the surface.  A new website is being established by the authority that should answer some questions but it’s going to be a long road ahead for most employers.